Wednesday, February 15, 2012

"The Wild Factor" of a Local Country Auction

Attended a local country auction this past Sunday.

 First auction sale I have been to this year.  In the winter months, auctions tend to be scarce in this province, especially in more rural locales.

Winnipeg, Manitoba's capital, tend to have a couple auction houses in /around that have regular weekly sales. But, as for country auctioneers, well, most are relegated to renting community halls, and other larger, heated venues.

Once in a blue moon there might be a liquidation/bankruptcy/estate auction that HAD to be held ASAP, and there might be a major outside component to the sale, but that is quite rare.

In this neck of the woods, no one wants to stand around in -40C windchill to bid on much of anything. For those of you who think in Fahrenheit, that is -49 degrees.  No, our winters are not always that cold, but Murphy's Law says that the very day and outdoor, winter auction is scheduled, it will be one of the colder and windier days of the year!

So, the few sales that are held are located in rented community halls of small towns, or similar venues. There are more being held monthly now in the winter than in past years. Not sure why, though. I remember not so long ago that December, January and February sometimes held no auctions, save for livestock sales, and charity fundraisers.

Perhaps the baby boomer bulge nosing into retirement age is part of the cause....and I suspect auctioneers' general need for more income is likely also part of it.

Yesterday there was 2 auctions, one local, within a 5 minute drive, advertised as a estate, consignment and "Warehouse Liens Storage Auction." The other was a put together antiques & Collectibles auction, and considering I attended a couple of this auctioneer's "collectibles" sales,  I knew prices would be high...and would cost me $50 in fuel to drive to, at least.  Also, some of his consignors have a nasty habit of bidding on their own consigned items. Yes,  it is technically illegal, and constitutes fraud....but is rampant at some auctioneer's sales, who openly allow it, or turn a blind eye to it, and feign  ignorance.

I opted for the nearest one.  I could easily go home or even do some local picking if it was really bad....and I knew it was unlikely consignors would be bidding their stuff up, at least not obviously, nor with the auctioneers knowledge.

I drove up, 15 minutes after the doors opened for preview. Normally, at this site, I tend to be one of the first half dozen people in the door, so I was relaxed....then I drove up and saw this:

At least 15 vehicles.....maybe 4 could be for auction staff....but usually I drive up at this time and see 5 vehicles at most.

I parked, walked up to the tools and junk that were outside,. With these indoor auctions, having box lots and tools can/usually means there is too much inside for them to bring all the stuff ALL in.  Too much stuff can be good for a bargain hunter/reseller who has patience. Too much stuff can mean some real bargains may be had, for various reasons.

I went inside, and saw that there were cerainly already roughly 20 folks there.

Hmmm...I had suspected the mention of "Warehouse Storage Liens" might create a larger crowd, guess you can call it the Storage Wars Effect. (See: - Glendon Cameron - a Storage Auction guru...)

I was there for not more than 10 minutes, and overheard a guy commenting to his friend, who was looking at some of the offerings on the other side of the row of banquet tables.

He uttered:  "If I hit The Wild Factor, I'll split it with ya."

I resisted allowing my eyes to roll....though I may have audibly let out a sigh. 
For those of you who are now looking confused, the slogan "That's The Wild Factor, baby!" is a favorite in Darryl Sheet's vocabulary on Storage Wars (the original show)

The "Junk TV" Reality TV shows that have been flashed onto viewers screen have gotten viewers out of their recliners, off their couches, and up and attending auctions, garage sales, etc. Some are driven only by curiosity. However, some I am sure figure they are going to hit it rich, ignoring all the evidence to the contrary...wearing blinders to the information on the reality of the junk business that is available. I am seeing a larger crowd, and a younger crowd attending sales of all kinds. It is fine with me, I know what I am buying, though I now am very aware I may have to pay more for some things.    Along with that comes a better market for the things I want to GET RID OF...Maybe auction would be the best way.......


Hmmm....oh well...

Back to the auction preview...

This was beginning of what was to be a long day.

At least there seemed to be plenty of home made pies being unpacked at the lunch counter... Hmmm..and I didn't have a huge breakfast.

I already knew where my first $2.00 will be spent...


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